They said it: Americans double up in junior races at ITU World Championship in Cozumel

Americans Taylor Knibb and Austin Hindman took the junior titles at the ITU Triathlon World Championship in Cozumel, Mexico.

| September 17, 2016 | NEWS

Junior Men ITU World Championship in pictures  | Austin Hindman looks on during the singing of the US national anthem. Charles Paquet (CAN) is on his left, Ben Dijkstra (GBR) on the right.

Austin Hindman looks on during the singing of the US national anthem. Charles Paquet (CAN) is on his left, Ben Dijkstra (GBR) on the right.

Photo >Kevin Mackinnon

They said it: Taylor Knibb

I was in my peak shape in Montreal and I’ve had a rough month, so I didn’t know what I could do today.

I went to college [Cornell University] – I have an incredible team and they’re so supportive, but it’s a different lifestyle. I’ve been swimming alone, which has been harder. Maybe that was the [reason for the poor] swim today …

I’m on the cross country and track and field team. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive team or coach. He drove me and another girl from the team to the airport. I don’t think he knew what he was getting himself in for with the two bikes and everything – he’s used to people just traveling with a pair of shoes.

I was a lot further back out of the water than I expected, but seeing how the other races have panned out and have come together gave me confidence. I just had to stay patient and take it lap by lap, which is hard for me, I’m not a patient person.

I broke away going into the turnaround of the third loop, so I got a lap and a half alone, which was good.

I felt like I was dying [out on the run]. I guess Montreal gave me confidence that I felt awful, but you can still get through.

My mom was doing the sport – that’s how I got into it because I was too competitive to sit on the side and watch. That’s how I got into triathlon, but another family introduced me to draft legal, and that’s a lot more fun.

Knibb knocks it out of the ballpark

Taylor Knibb trailed out of the water, but it wasn’t long before the American was up at the front of the race – even before the end of the first lap she was leading the way on the bike. Lena Meissner (GER) and Therese Feuersinger (AUT) would join Knibb on a breakaway in the second lap, but Knibb pulled away from those two halfway through the third lap and never looked back.

Feuersinger and Meissner would get caught by the group, which hit T2 about 30 seconds behind the American. Having just started her college career at Cornell University, where Knibb is part of the cross country and track and field team, it should come as no surprise that she held off the rest of the women during the final leg of the race. Germany’s Lisa Tertsch managed to run her way to second, while Hye Rim Jeong (KOR) managed to out-kick Ines Santiago (ESP) for the bronze medal.   


Junior Women: ITU World Championship Cozumel




Taylor Knibb



Lisa Tertsch



Hye Rim Jeong



Ines Santiago



Cecelia Santamaria Surroca



Author >Kevin Mackinnon

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They said it: Austin Hindman

I felt better than expected in the heat. It’s extremely tough conditions – just brutal heat. I did a bit of heat preparation back in my hometown in Missouri and I think that really seemed to pay off.

I was just trying to be patient and run my race and work my way up to the front a bit slower than just trying to get up there in the first half lap or so. When Charles [Paquet] and a few other guys had a fairly large gap, I tried to just stay calm, picking people off and working my way up.

After crashing twice and last year being changed to a duathlon, it feels really good to have competed in an actual triathlon world championship (technically this is my first one since last year was turned into a duathlon).

Group dynamics

The swim did little to differentiate the 75 junior men competing – only a minute separated first to 75th. The huge group that came out of the water together eventually formed a lead bunch of 37 on the bike, which set things up for an exciting run.

The initial part of the run looked like a repeat of the 2014 Youth Olympics with Daniel Hoy (NZL) and Ben Dijkstra (GBR) (who sprinted to the line in Beijing – Dijkstra took the gold) closely followed by another Youth Olympian, Charles Paquet (CAN). Dijkstra went out hard, but it was Paquet who really put the rest of the field to the test through the end of the first of two loops, opening up a seven-second gap on the rest of the men.

Hindman’s patience paid off, though, and when he went to the front there was nothing anyone could do to stop him as he ran to a 10-second win. Paquet hung on for second, followed by Dijkstra who rounded out the podium.

Junior Men: ITU World Championship Cozumel




Austin Hindman



Charles Paquet



Ben Dijkstra



Daniel Hoy



Alex Yee



Author >Kevin Mackinnon

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